The WUR Training weekend

In the weekend of 3-5 May, the WUR-team went on a training weekend to prepare for the Batavierenrace. We gathered on a beautiful spring evening at the Bongerd and quickly made our way to the beautiful town of Zeeland, where we could stay at Tonnie’s place. Just minutes into our journey to Zeeland, Thomas and Diede decided to have a road race to see who is the bigger man. It might not surprise you that because of this we arrived at Tonnie faster then expected. When the car park was filled up, we set up camp in Tonnie’s freshly mown garden (and some people inside, this would have a huge impact the following day).
After a nice walk on and around Tonnie’s estate it was time for a lecture. Since it was exam week the week before, everyone was eager to hear what the team leader, Ties, had to say. He first gave a course on How to Bata and followed it up by maybe the most importa

nt part: the stage division. All athletes were very animated, both in real life and in the powerpoint! Images flew across the slides. Every

time a runner got to know their stage, they received a beautiful white WUR-team t-shirt, which gave everyone their time in the spotlight. At the end a wave of excitement went through the room, now everything started to become very real.

We all went to bed, and while some people couldn’t get to sleep because of their enthusiasm, other people battled something worse: the cold. Camping when the nights are colder is not for the unexperienced and all members of the WUR-team are now very aware of that. This is great preparation for the Bata-weekend, since then we are sleeping in tents again. Lennart decided to research the correlation between the quality and quantity of sleep and sleeping out- or inside. However, his alternative hypothesis that sleeping outside had a negative impact seemed to not be justified as the late risers also started to wake up. Everybody had some breakfast before we had our first training.

The first training was a fartlek. On our way to the park for the training we picked up the middle distance runners halfway through our warming-up. Everyone was wearing their bright white WUR-team t-shirt, except for Dagmar (Smid) who joined us for this training. This made her stick out as the black sheep, not helped by the fact that she was actually wearing black, as she wasn’t informed about our dress code. In the park we first did some running drills and then split up in smaller groups to do our sessions. Tonnie set out a course through lovely fields with yellow flowers and past Scottish Highlanders that didn’t mind us.
Some runners wanted to see even more beauty and took off the beaten track. For this a few gates had to be opened, which Lisan managed to do swiftly. They were rewarded with a gorgeous path along lakes on both sides and were back just in time to get a final cheer from the middle distances runners, who already finished, for their final repetition. Their encouragement affected the pace immensely, simulating the final meters of a race. Team spirit was high! We ran back to Tonnie’s house and split up quickly. The long distance runners went the whole way back on foot, while the others went back to the car. Eline (on bike) joined the long distance runners, but she still had the car keys. We realised this a bit too late as the middle distance runners had noticed their missing key and decided to return on foot too.
Back home Tonnie provided a delicious and well-deserved lunch that was very much enjoyed and gave big smiles on our faces. Just in time for the group picture! With the whole team and smiles as radiant as our t-shirts we did our best poses. The camera was clicking away and of course we took the obligatory ‘fun one’. When our team spirit was immortalised and lifted even further it was time to go to Vught for physical lifting: strength training.
Strength training took place at Prins Hendrik in Vught. This association has (a little bit) more money than Tartlétos, which we could see from the facilities. The first timers were in awe and feasted their eyes. After the first waves of mesmerisation were over we laid down on the grass for some flexibility. The sun was shining brightly and its warm rays covered our bodies, making some people a little bit sleepy. Before we actually started napping we moved over to the gym, where Eline, who also trains at PH, had a training plan laid out for us. She explained and flawlessly showed us how to do the exercises, the bar was set quite high. There were as many exercises as there were pairs, so we were constantly busy, making the time fly by.
With everybody a little bit stronger than before we had a more playful end of the training, a relay race. Since there was a rain shower outside and our own shower was planned for after the training, we decided to do a pupil relay on the inside track.

As the Batavierenrace is also a relay race, we wanted to rehearse passing along the relay vest. After a short demonstration of how to do so, we lined up in order of our stages to ensure impeccable turnovers at the Bata. The relay was multifunctional, everyone at the sidelines screamed their lungs out to support our runners. Before we noticed it was the turn for our final stage runners, Lisan and Pim. Lisan took an early lead, but Pim played their race tactically and struck after the final bend with a quick sprint finish.
Now that our trainings for the day were wrapped up, it was time to have dinner, coincidentally, wraps. All cutting boards were quickly in use, everyone was very eager to help with the preparations and dinner was on the table in no time. We all sat down in the living room and attacked our meal. The clock almost struck eight and the television went on for Remembrance Day. Especially as people living in Wageningen, this is a very important moment, so together we heard the ‘taptoe’ play and sat in unison for the two minutes of silence.

We watched the Remembrance Day broadcast for a little while longer, until Eline and Lisan hosted their game of ‘Who is most likely to?’. With questions like ‘Who is most likely to win Expedition Robinson?’, ‘Who is most likely to have the best pick-up line?’ and ‘Who is most likely to stop running (completely)?’ we got to know each other even better in multiple ways. At the question ‘Who is most likely to have the newest running tech?’ Maarten was completely flabbergasted people voted him as most likely, even though he was the only one with an arm heart rate monitor. During the quiz we also listened to parodies of Habiba (Wageningen) and Europapa (Omni-ja-ja) and local song Buslijn 88, as not everyone was aware of the existence of those incredible bangers (which you are now!). It was almost bedtime, but not before one of the best games of Werewolves was played. Eline was immediately identified by her housemate Lisan, who managed to survive the entire game despite being the mayor from the beginning. Mees was then rightly banished after nervously running his mouth. All of the murders of the werewolves were told vividly by storyteller Ties. When he told about the bright yellow eyes that were looming in the darkness, being the last thing someone saw before being brutally devoured, people were getting goosebumps. Silent Hannah was almost getting away with her murders, but was discovered last minute, making the game result in a win for the civilians. But when so many have suffered, can you really call it a win? Despite heart rates being at an all-time high, we went to bed and quickly fell asleep, the hard trainings of the day did their job. Some people had moved their beds from the tents to the living room, the next morning everyone was well rested. We started our day earlier than the day before, since we wanted to be in Wageningen in time for the Bevrijdingsfestival. After a quick breakfast we all headed out together for our final training, a long run. Tonnie guided us through the landscapes of Brabant, through beautiful forests and along a very bumpy path. At 8k the group split up for a shorter or a longer run. However, when the people of the longer run were on their way back to Tonnie’s they noticed a group of runners. Tonnie hastily guided them to the fastest way home as the others took a small detour and arrived back just a little bit later. Training weekend was done, but the day was far from over… If you want to hear the stories of the rest of the day, you should ask our runners personally.

We want to thank our team (again) for a wonderful weekend, the atmosphere was fantastic. And of course a big thanks to Tonnie for facilitating a location for and excellent trainings during the weekend. We can’t wait to put our best foot forward during the Batavierenrace!
Much love from the Bata444cie <3